This weekend, we visited Vancouver for the first time in a long time to do some errands and see some very dear friends. After being in Seattle for five months, after living in Vancouver for five years, Vancouver seems somewhat distant… yet still incredibly familiar and lovely.
Vancouver & Seattle consider themselves sister cities, yet for all their similarities they leave a different impression on us. Here’s a few:
- Vancouver is more dense: despite being a city of only 600K (MSA: 2.3 million), Vancouver is the third densest city in North America, behind NYC & San Francisco. All those buildings you see above? They’re condos! Yet, despite being so dense, it doesn’t feel crowded, Instead, it just feel well-used… very alive and purposeful.
- Vancouver is quieter: you would think “dense” and “quiet” wouldn’t go together, but there you are. It probably has something to do with more bikes, less cars, less highways… but it probaby just has a lot to do with it being Canadian (more on that below) 🙂
- Seattle is more lively: like the country it’s in, Seattle is higher, bigger, louder, friendlier, and more extroverted.
- Vancouver is better designed: which is no knock on Seattle, which is very well planned as well. But in VanCity, every block, park, and tree-lined street seem like so much thought went into them.
- Seattle is more Christian: I’m not going to try to qualify this one, but I don’t think there’s much question that Seattle has more churches and is more open to the gospel. I’m also very interested about how culture shapes its understanding of the gospel… I think it’s quite significant, but I’ll save that for later.
- Seattle is more home: not going to qualify this one, either. It’s just how we feel, and we feel it strongly. It’s great to be home.